India

Recent Social Security Initiatives in India

There has been a major expansion of social security programs in India during the last 15 years or so, along with wider recognition of economic and social rights. This paper discusses five programs that can be seen as partial foundations of a possible social security system for India: school meals, child care services, employment guarantee, food subsidies, and social security pensions.

Market Liberalism, Marginalised Citizens and Countermovements in India

How has neo-liberalism transformed the economic structure and policies of India? And what are the politico-economic implications of such policies for marginalised populations? Following Karl Polanyi’s theory of “double movement”, this paper argues that while market liberalism has helped India overcome the slow so-called “Hindu rate of growth”, it has adversely affected the economic interests of the poor. It further argues that the expansion of the market (first movement) has led to various social dislocations in the lives of the poor.

A Phased Approach Will Make a ‘Basic Income’ Affordable for India

Years ago, in 1991, Philippe Van Parijs made a strong case for universal basic income (UBI) in an article titled ‘Why surfers should be fed‘. More recently, the idea of a UBI has gained currency in India as well. Why the idea is appealing is easy to see: universality does away with the messy job of identifying the poor and when the UBI is in cash (rather than kind), it reduces the administrative burden in an already over-stretched government bureaucracy.
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